With several famous and powerful men making the news lately about sexual misconduct as well as those who have indicated a need for treatment of sexual addiction, it has put this disorder into the spotlight. It’s common for people to shrug off sex addiction as an excuse for certain behaviors, but it’s a real condition. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse for wrong actions, but a person should know the signs so they can tell when they or a loved one is suffering from the disorder.
Understanding What Is and Isn’t Addiction
When someone suffers from sex addiction, they have an uncontrollable need to perform sexual acts. It is like a fix for a craving they have, which is similar to drugs or alcohol. It doesn’t usually matter who the partner is, and the addict will often seek out multiple partners.
On the other hand, someone who likes to cheat on a spouse or go out to bars or other places to pick up people doesn’t necessarily have a sex addiction. It can be difficult to tell from an outsider’s point of view if the person has a true addiction or is just promiscuous. Many addicts work hard to hide their behaviors so no one will know.
Symptoms of Sex Addiction
Certain behaviors indicate an addiction to sex. Some of these signs won’t be obvious to others, but you will recognize them if you have an addiction.
- Chronic thoughts about sex
- Relations with numerous partners, including strangers
- Lying to people to hide behaviors
- Obsession with sex, which can interfere with daily tasks and responsibilities
- Unable to stop these thoughts and behaviors
- Exhibits dangerous behavior for sexual encounters
- Dominant in sexual encounters
- Experiencing feelings of guilt afterwards
- Distant in other relationships
Generally, a person doesn’t feel good about their behaviors. They may feel like they can’t control their impulses, but once the desire has been fulfilled, they are unhappy and feel guilty.
Just like with any other addiction, a sex addict can seek help from a professional treatment center. With therapy, they can learn to control their addiction and live a happy life.